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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

a            HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

significance in the more secure and settled life of these lands, and
a new education came into being to meet needs never before felt
This education was dominated by the invention of writing and
the creation of complex social institutions based on written records.
It was primarily a matter of mastering the very difficult new art,
and applying it in trade, government, and all the branches of
learning which had their centre in the temples, This was a task
so highly specialized that the home, which had now the main,
responsibility for practical training, could not accomplish it;
and so for the first time in the history of man the school made its
appearance.

It would be interesting to follow in some detail the evolution of
education through the stages which have been very summarily
outlined. But here we are concerned with the history of education
in Western Europe, and must pass the earlier story by with only
such brief mention as is necessary to keep us in mind of the
immense antiquity of the educational institutions which preceded
and indirectly prepared for European education.

The proper starting-point for a study of educational beginnings
which aims at an understanding of our own times is in Greece*
the motherland of our civilization. At the name of Greece, as
Hegel said, the modern cultured man feels himself at homo* His*
religion, that which is transcendent and distant, has come to him
from the East, and especially from Syria; and there is always
something of strangeness about it- On the other hand, " what is
here, what is present, science and art, all that makes life satisfying
and elevates and adorns it, is derived, directly or indirectly, from
Greece." The debt with regard to education is only part of a
larger debt, and it is not the least. There were schools both m
Babylonia and in Egypt, but they were very different from ours
in object and, so far as we know them, in methods. It was not
till the younger civilization of Greece had developed its education
that the first recognizably European schools arose, with pro*
grammes of studies and methods of teaching fundamentally akin
to those of modern times; and from that day to this, Greek
thought about education, and the Greek practice of education,
have been mighty formative influences in every European country.
Rome, to which we are more immediately debtor, did her greatest
service to the world by carrying on the Greek traditions and
adapting them to the new conditions of Western lauds* Even the